Targets will drive improvement in mental health

Reflecting the Government’s priority to improve the public services Kiwis rely on, including mental health care, Minister for Mental Health, Matt Doocey has today announced five mental health and addiction targets.

“The targets reflect my priorities to increase access to mental health and addiction support, grow the mental health and addiction workforce, strengthen the focus on prevention and early intervention and improve the effectiveness of mental health and addiction support,” Mr Doocey says.

The targets will drive:

  • Faster access to specialist mental health and addiction services: target of 80 percent of people accessing specialist mental health and addiction services are seen within three weeks
  • Faster access to primary mental health and addiction services: target of 80 percent of people accessing primary mental health and addiction services through the Access and Choice programme* are seen within one week
  • Shorter mental health and addiction-related stays in emergency departments: target of 95 percent of mental health and addiction-related emergency department presentations are admitted, discharged, or transferred from an emergency department within six hours
  • Increased mental health and addiction workforce development: target of training 500 mental health and addiction professionals each year
  • Strengthened focus on prevention and early intervention: target of 25 percent of mental health and addiction investment is allocated towards prevention and early intervention

“I believe that by setting ambitious targets, we will generate better outcomes, and this government is outcomes focused.

“I am aware we will not fix everything overnight, but these targets will help lift the focus on mental health and addiction and – more importantly – result in an improvement to the mental wellbeing of many New Zealanders.

“Timely access to services is crucial to support people’s recovery, help them to live well, and prevent deterioration in their mental health and overall quality of life.

“While I am focused on improving the performance of our existing services, I will also look to grow and develop new mental health and addiction workforces. This will be supported by existing dedicated investment in mental health and addiction workforce development.

“Achieving better mental health outcomes for New Zealanders will have this government’s relentless attention.”